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Surprised by Our Lady of Guadalupe

March 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Mercy, Sarah Reinhard

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The Second Greatest Story Ever Told (Week 7 of 8)

Once again, I find myself “blaming” — err, giving credit to — Mary. Many things of the last 15 years of my life are her “fault” — maybe even going so far as to say that I'm Catholic because of her. I spent a great deal of time trying to put all the puzzle pieces together, and at some point, life took over. I started paying attention to the now, what was happening all around me, and thinking less of how it all happened.

But every so often, I catch myself playing with the same ball of yarn again, teasing apart how integrated Mary has been in my journey.

Yes, at first, after I'd made my consecration, she [the Blessed Virgin Mary] was right there in front of me, filling me with consolation and warm fuzzies. But the Christian life isn't about warm fuzzies. So, she went from being, so to speak, right in “front” of me to going behind me, where I couldn't see her. I thought this meant that she'd abandoned me. On the contrary, after reading Pope John Paul's May 13, 1982, homily, I realized that she was really right there the whole time, pushing me from behind. Yes, for 15 beautiful years, even though I couldn't see her, she was pushing me into the rays of God's mercy, pushing me into the fountain of Divine Mercy, the pierced side of Jesus, helping me to understand how much God loves me—not because of what I've done or who I am but because of who he is and what he's done for me.

That's what Mary wants to do for each and every one of us. That's what she wants us to understand and experience. Bringing us to Divine Mercy, healing the original wound that makes us distrust God, and helping us to graduate from God's school of trust — that's Mary's mission, passion, and preoccupation as she works in the lives of all her children. And how she does it best is through the consecration. So let's get to know how Marian consecration is spreading today, allowing Mary to bring more and more people to the inexhaustible mercy of God.

The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, p. 176-177

For many years, I've had a special devotion to Mary, notably as Our Lady of Guadalupe. I don't remember when it exactly started, but it has only grown and blossomed. Oh, I love Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes too, and I have a bit of a mental collection of other favorite titles of Mary.

But Guadalupe? She's my girl.

Maybe it's because she's not holding Jesus. Maybe it's because she's not sparkly (much). Maybe it has something to do with the dark hair.

If I think about it enough, I think it probably comes down to what she said to Juan Diego:

Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you. [source]

and how she said it. She addressed Juan as “Juanito,” a term of endearment, a way that a mama would address her little son. I have had a few babies (in fact, the youngest of them is just starting to sleep through the night), and I have special nicknames for each of them. They're nicknames only I have and only I understand (to the amusement of my husband and other kids).

I also have emotional scar tissue about a mile wide when it comes to my relationship with other people, especially parental and authority types. Somehow, through Guadalupe, God has reached down and touched me in that specific spot so that I am free in some way, able to open myself, receiving graces and healing through the pain.

And so, it was with tears of astonishment rolling down my face that I read this last chapter, where Guadalupe — my Mary — suddenly appeared in a most unexpected way, tied in with a Divine Mercy devotion I've held dear for a few years and a pull to Marian consecration that I'm still wrapping my head around.

Yet again, Mary's at work in my life, in a most beautiful way.

Reading Assignment:

Conclusion and Appendices 1 and 2

NOTE: For those who wish to plan ahead, we begin The Life of Christ by Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen on April 12.

Discussion Questions:

1. How will you take action and be part of the story?

2. Have you made a Marian consecration before? Why…or why not?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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